The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
The hormonal control of labour is very complex and difficult to understand but it has certain similarities to driving a car. The mother's brain is the driver and her uterus is the engine. The baby is his mother's eyes in that his position inside her determines which way to turn the steering wheel. The three pedals control hormones. The clutch represents oestrogen, the foot brake represents adrenaline and the accelerator represents oxytocin. A car will come to a stop in three ways: by depressing the clutch and disengaging the engine, by stopping petrol supplies reaching the engine, and by using the foot brake. In pregnancy and labour, these functions are performed by stress hormones. As well as maintaining pregnancy, stress hormones control labour by regulating the power of the uterine engine. The role of a birth attendant should be like that of a driving instructor rather than a back-seat driver. Education and encouragement are more helpful than grabbing the steering wheel and slamming on the dual control foot brake whenever the smallest mistake is made. A learner continually subjected to panic reactions by the instructor will lose self-confidence and may give up altogether. The better the driving instructor, the less likely learners are to crash and need the emergency services.
If the driver relies too much on the advice of a back-seat driver, particularly one who has never driven before but has learnt all he knows through watching other people drive cars, she is more likely to have an accident. If she lets the back-seat driver completely control her labour she is asking for trouble.- Margaret Jowitt, Childbirth Unmasked, 1993
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